On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, which has taken over the investigation of the Brussels attack, confirmed the death of the alleged perpetrator. The announcement came after Belgian authorities apprehended the suspected killer of two Swedish nationals during a shooting that occurred the previous day in Brussels. The federal prosecutor later confirmed the suspect’s death, although the circumstances surrounding the death were not elaborated.
On Monday night, during a football match between Belgium and Sweden, which was part of the qualifiers for Euro 2024, two Swedish individuals were fatally shot in Brussels. A taxi driver was also injured in the incident. The armed assailant fled the scene post-attack.
The match was temporarily halted due to the attack, and fans were requested to remain within the King Baudouin Stadium. Following the attack, a video message was posted on social media platforms by a man claiming to be the attacker. In the video, the individual professed to have been inspired by the Islamic State, as disclosed by the federal prosecutor. Belgian media outlets have identified the suspected attacker as Abdesalem L., a 45-year-old of Tunisian origin, residing in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek.
The investigation was handed over to the federal prosecution due to the “potential terrorist motivation,” as previously stated by spokesperson Eric Van Duyse. The federal prosecutor’s office is a jurisdiction extending across the entire Belgian territory. It was established to facilitate more effective action against crimes exceeding the jurisdiction of local prosecution offices, such as human trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and money laundering. Following the incident, the terrorist threat level in the Brussels region has been elevated to four, the highest level.